Ideology and Interpersonal Emotion Management: Redefining Identify in Two Support Groups
Social Psychology Quarterly
This ethnographic study demonstrates the process by which our emotions are constructed not only by ourselves but also by others. Support groups for divorce or bereavement are used to illustrate the process of interpersonal emotion management. The study considers how support groups with differing ideologies produce dissimilar situational definitions for the loss of a spouse. Each of these definitions promotes different cognitive and effective outcomes for the participants. Despite these differences in definitions, the group leaders use a largely identical process of interpersonal emotion management, in which they redefine not only the event of spousal loss but also the sufferer's very identity. These redefinitions encourage understandings and emotions that coincide with the groups' own idelogical perspectives. In addition, the results of the study are unexpectedly congruent with affect control theory, thus demonstrating that the propositions of this theory inform qualitative as well as quantitative research.
Francis, Linda E., "Ideology and Interpersonal Emotion Management: Redefining Identify in Two Support Groups" (1997). Sociology & Criminology Faculty Publications. Paper 50.
Linda E. Francis. (1997). Ideology and Interpersonal Emotion Management: Redefining Identify in Two Support Groups. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60(2), 153-171, doi: 10.2307/2787102.